barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

War Artists Lecture Series

Inspired by our exhibition ‘Rebel Visions’

Wednesdays, 1.10 – 2pm

Barber Lecture Theatre, FREE, no booking required.


PREMONITIONS OF ANOTHER WAR: Nevinson’s Problem Paintings of the 1930s

Wednesday 19 November, 1.10-2pm

Between 1930 and 1935 C.R.W Nevinson produced a series of allegorical paintings composed of a diverse combination of images. Nevinson’s allegories present troubled, problematic and highly unsettling conceptions of a fractured modern world teetering on the brink of catastrophe, perhaps a second world war.
Dr Richenda Roberts, from the Department of Art History, Film and Visual Studies, and curator of Rebel Visions: The War Art of CRW Nevinson, will explore how the influence of international politics,
fascination with war and the artists’ personal belief system motivated the creation of Nevinson’s ‘problem’ paintings.


“Guerra! Guerra!” – Music, the Arts and War: 1800-2000

Wednesday 26 November , 1.10-2pm

 Daniel Snowman examines the links between war and the arts – all the arts – across Europe over the past 200 years. From the triumphs and tragedies of Napoleonic times, through the Crimean War and the romantic revolutions of mid-century to the aesthetic responses on all sides to the two World Wars, this lecture asks how and why war has stimulated artistic creativity.


The Artist as Reporter: British War Artists and the First World War

Wednesday 3 December , 1.10-2pm
Join Jo Walton, NADFAS approved lecturer, who will explore the lives and work of a group of young, avant-garde British artists such as C.R.W. Nevinson, Paul Nash, Percy Wyndham Lewis and Stanley Spencer, considering the ways in which these artists recorded their own experiences of the First World War. Artists were recording their impressions in remarkable paintings, drawings and sculpture as well as creating posters, cartoons and even inventing camouflage. The lecture will discuss how artists were involved in the War in many different ways whilst also considering what happened to the young artists when Peace was finally declared.


Image: Copyright Imperial War Museums

Sir William Orpen (1878-1931)

A Nude Girl Seated on a Bed


James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)

La vieille aux loques (The Old Rag-Picker)


Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898)

The Battle of the Beaux and the Belles


Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948)

Merz V